I know it has been awhile since I have updated my story. I have been a very busy gal and part of that “busyness” is so I do not focus on my Cancer. In the last six months there have been a lot of changes in my life. I have been working very hard to come to terms with my feelings and thoughts, which can sometimes be difficult to face. Some have been challenging, but the final outcome has been positive beyond my expectations!
Dealing with the recurrence of Cancer was at the forefront of all my thoughts in the last six months. After nine months of intensive conventional treatment (chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiation), I had regained a lot of my strength, mobility and health, only to be hit with the news that the Cancer was back! I was put on a lifetime targeted chemotherapy of Kadcyla, which was quite depressing because who wants to be on chemo for the rest of their life.
And believe me, I get it! I have so much to be thankful for and I really shouldn’t be whining about chemo, but the eventual toxin overload was a big concern for me. I ask myself ,”What is next?” I am no longer the same person I once was. Will I get sick and waste away? How long can my body withstand this treatment? These are questions only God has the answers to and I trust that my outcome is completely in his hands.
At first, Kadcyla was not too bad. I experienced a couple days of fatigue after infusion day and was back to myself in a few days. Unfortunately, as the treatments continued it was taking an enormous toll on my body. My neuropathy started coming back. My fatigue went from a couple days to two weeks of fatigue. I can deal with a couple days every three weeks, but not two weeks out of the three! My vision and balance started to fluctuate again and it became dangerous for me to drive myself places.
When they say that cancer is the gift that keeps on giving, it is no joke. Can I say through all this I have been a beacon of strength and peace? No, unfortunately I am human and the fear and uncertainty of my situation would sometimes creep in, even though I try and stay strong for my family and friends. Am I a warrior? No, those of you that know me personally can attest that I will only fight as a last resort. I did not ask for this fight, but yet I am forced to fight for my survival every day.
Okay, now that I have gotten all that off my chest. Let me assure you , it is not all doom and gloom. In fact, dealing with all these challenges has actually forced me to grow as an individual and reevaluate my priorities. In the midst of all this uncertainty, I have made a conscious choice to stay positive because mindset is everything. My focus is not on what I DO NOT HAVE, but on what I DO HAVE!
- Incredible support system of friends and family, whom I am so grateful for.
- My love for helping others.
- A thriving practice as an energy healer.
- Finishing my health and life coach certification.
- Working on my blog.
- And most of all my faith in the LORD
Three months after starting Kadcyla, I had my scans. OMG!!! God is so good. My husband and I couldn’t believe the miraculous news. There was no evidence of disease! Just so you understand, just because the scans could not see anything it doesn’t mean that there aren’t Cancer cells hiding out somewhere in my body waiting for the opportunity to multiply. Unfortunately, once you are Stage 4 and the Cancer has spread it could be anywhere and pop up at anytime. Think of it as a time bomb that ticks, but you don’t know when or if ever it will explode.
My oncologist considers me in remission, but I know I must always stay vigilant. Because the Kadcyla was affecting my quality of life so adversely, my oncologist and I discussed the possibility of discontinuation. She fully informed me of the risks and we decided to wait another three months for my next scans and see how it goes. In that three months, I had a lot to think about. On one hand there was the risk of the cancer returning, but if it is going to return would the Kadcyla stop it? Maybe. Maybe not. What I did know was that I no longer had energy to pursue my studies, as the fatigue was getting overwhelming. I no longer had the energy to help other on their own personal journey. I no longer had the full capacity to do all the things I enjoy and I did not want to continue down this road. My next scans came back clean. As you know, the adverse effects were getting pretty bad, so I elected to just go back on Herceptin as a precaution and discontinue Kadcyla. Is this the right choice? I don’t know, but I do feel in my heart that all will be well.
I wanted to end this long post on a happy and fun note! So here goes!
My husband and I just took a much needed Disney cruise to the Western Caribbean for seven wonderful days. Since our anniversary plans had to be cancelled last year due to radiation, we decided this was the time to celebrate and live it up! And can you believe my excitement when I found out our cruise had a Star Wars Day at Sea
Oh MY! I will never forget that day in 1977 when I waited hours in line to get tickets to see Star Wars. I think I must have seen it over 15 times. The “special effects” were astounding at the time and I was totally crushing on Han Solo, even though Chewbacca will always be my favorite character. On the cruise, not only did we visit Cozumel, Jamaica and the Grand Cayman’s, but we also got to dress up as pirates. There were special fireworks on both pirate night and Star Wars night. I can’t believe how much fun I had and I felt like a kid again. This was our first vacation in two years and I am planning many more in our future. I plan to live each day to its fullest and hope that with God’s grace – I will be that old cat lady one day! ( except for me it is dogs )